Cheteshwar Pujara Must Play More Shots, Virat Kohli Must Pick His Deliveries Smartly, Says WV Raman
World Test Championship, India
Cheteshwar Pujara[photo: Twitter]

Cheteshwar Pujara Must Play More Shots, Virat Kohli Must Pick His Deliveries Smartly, Says WV Raman

WV Raman, former India women’s coach knows a thing or two about batting. In an interview with Hindustan Times, he spoke about the challenges that Indian batsmen will face in the England tour of 2021 which includes WTC Final and 5 Tests against the hosts, and the subtle technique they would need to make there.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

WV Raman: Cheteshwar Pujara Can Look At Perhaps Playing More Shots

He started by talking about Indian batsmen who are most likely to play in the WTC final — openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. In fact, he also passed on some valuable tips to the players.

“Rohit has played enough. He is vastly experienced. Shubman Gill despite being a youngster has got a lot of exposure of playing international cricket. There is no reason why they cannot do it in the WTC final.

“What is important in England is to take it moment by moment. There you can’t say you are totally set if you have batted for two hours because the weather can change suddenly. So, it is important to always take it one ball at a time.”

Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings for India against Australia. The keeper continued his form against England where he hit 270 runs at an average of 54.00. His strike rate was 69.9 against Australia and 84.11 against England. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara, who is the backbone of Indian batting, has been facing a few problems with scoring.
Cheteshwar Pujara Picture Credit- Twitter.
Cheteshwar Pujara Picture Credit- Twitter.

“I think Cheteshwar perhaps can look at playing a few more shots. In England, you’ve got to make the best use of the scoring opportunities. Assuming this will again be a typical English summer, you will get very few scoring opportunities anyway.”

“Cheteshwar likes to grind for long hours and then score. In that period, he might miss out on some scoring opportunities. You can get away with that in India, Australia, where there is not much swing and seam.

“But both happen a lot in England. In Australia, you will have bounce, you might have a bit of seam but in England, you will have to cope with all three at times. It is important not to let the scoring opportunities go.”

He added, “I’m not trying to say that he has to play against his character. He keeps it very simple. If he picks a bowler and decides that he has to play him out then he can do that quite easily and he does that quite often. But if he just tries to score some runs even against the best bowler then that will keep the bowler on his toes,” WV Raman maintained.

“He suddenly has to think about saving runs too, it’s not only about bowling over after over to Pujara and testing his resilience. The equation then changes slightly. That was perhaps one of the biggest differences between the Indian batters and others when they played Shane Warne.

“The moment he dropped it slightly short or got his line wrong, our players were ready to punish him. That’s why he perhaps did not have as much success against India as he did against South Africa in England. He did not have mental domination over India,” WV Raman added.

Against Australia, in 2020-21, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 271 runs in 4 matches at an average of 33.87. As he played at a strike rate of 29.20, his intent was under heavy scrutiny.

WV Raman: Virat Kohli Should Ensure He Doesn’t Play His Shots Far Too Early In The Innings And Pick His Deliveries Smartly

WV Raman also gave an insight, as to what was wrong with Virat Kohli’s batting during the 2014 tour.

“I think in 2014 he was so keen to get right behind the line of the ball that his bat at times was struggling to get down on time. He was not offering the full face of the bat. Sometimes when you are too keen to play it the correct way that you forget to relax. For example, besides the line, a player need not alter his technique completely to succeed in England.”

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“He needs to ensure that doesn’t play his shots far too early in the innings and pick his deliveries smartly. At this level, it is all about these subtle changes. When you are on a tour, it is very difficult to suddenly bat like someone else in a matter of two weeks. When you are used to playing a certain way for so many years, you need to maintain that and find ways to cope with difficult scenarios,” WV Raman concluded.

Virat Kohli has been on two tours of England since he made his Test debut for India. In the first tour in 2014, he was all over the place, scoring just 134 runs from 10 innings, statistically the India captain’s worst in a three-Test series or more. However, four years later, Virat Kohli turned it around in style, scoring a mammoth 593 runs from five Tests, including two centuries and three fifties.